ePIC Newsflash - September 2016

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ePIC 2016 Newsflash

September 2016



ePIC 2016

the 14th conference on ePortfolios, Open Badges, Blockchains, Trust and Identity

26-27-28 October 2016

In Partnership with .Bestr / Cineca, the Italian Higher Education Open Badge Platform

#OpenBadges: the Milestones of a re-Decentralised Web

ePIC 2016 Update

Connie Yowell (LRNG), David Leaser (IBM) and  Peter Janzow (Pearson) will address ePIC
#OpenEpic Twitter Chat with David Leaser, September 12
The Bologna Open Recognition Declaration​
Hack Open Badges at ePIC!

Open Badge News

Open Badge Passport update
Open Badges: the Experience of Italian Universities​
CanCred Passport - free cloud storage of Open Badges in Canada



OpenBadges: the Milestones of a re-Decentralised the Web




Badge Alliance Logo

Badge Europe!


In the digital world we live in, the main ground is possessed by the few, the Digital-Landlords. A whole paraphernalia of digital rights management, technologies, contracts, lawyers, regulations voted under influence and the cyber police make sure that we do not infringe their rights. To live on their lands often means accepting a relationship close to serfdom or digital slavery. To have a name, one has to pay a fee; that is if you want to have a domain of your own and not depend on someone else (a sub-domain) — come and join us at ePIC to hear what Jim Groom has to say on this!

We, the digital-commoners, possess very little, if anything at all, at least nothing worth transmitting to our heirs. Not even our name… We should express our gratitude for having been relieved from the anxiety of inheritance, spared the burden of building the walls of our privacy and wearing clothes to protect our intimacy. In this world, the tale of The Emperor’s New Clothes has become The Commoner’s New Clothes: we believe that we are dressed-up, yet we walk naked. As for Digital-Landlords, they simply see a flock of sheep waiting to be shorn.

But digital-commoners are no sheep. We know that if the real world is (almost) a sphere and its surface limited, the digital world has no predefined boundaries! We are free to add to it and establish our own fiefdom if that’s what we want. De-centralisation and aggregation of loosely coupled elements were at the core of the original design of the Internet. The way the Web has grown has obfuscated this central element, and Tim Berners-Lee, the person who is credited with having invented the World Wide Web (Stephen Downes disagrees with that characterisation) is calling for the re-decentralisation of the web.

As learning practitioners and citizens, we, the digital-commoners, must take our own share in this  re-decentralisation endeavour. In fact, as the development of Open Badges testifies, the work has already started: the enclosures of formal education credentials are now challenged to be open to the commoners. With Open Badges, digital-commoners now have the power to create their own verifiable claims, call on others’ endorsements and establish local and global trust networks. Open Badges are the milestones of the roads we are tracing while exploring the New Territories. We are now able to write our names on them without having to pay our dues to Digital-Landlords, nor their servants. And we can conquer new spaces without having to spoil it for anyone else as the re-decentralised World Wide Web is a land of plenty.

To explore further and charter the New Territories of learning recognition with other digital-commoners, join us in Bologna this October!


 Serge Ravet​, ePIC 2016

NB: this article is inspired by Audrey Water’s post: A Domain of One’s Own in a Post-Ownership Society


ePIC 2016 Update

International Journal of ePortfolio






Connie Yowell (LRNG), David Leaser (IBM) and  Peter Janzow (Pearson) will address ePIC delegates

Join the leaders of the Open Badge initiative to learn form the experts and build the partnerships for your own projects at ePIC. Learn how Open Badges can create learning cities and learning organisations. Understand how Open Badges can improve access, achievements and completion rates with Connie Yowell (LRNG), David Leaser (IBM) and  Peter Janzow (Pearson).

Connie Yowell

Connie Yowell, CEO of CollectiveShift.org; Director of Education, MacArthur Foundation, USA. 

Connie is the visionary and CEO of Collective Shift, bringing considerable experience from the MacArthur Foundation where she oversaw a $150 million program on Digital Media and Learning. Connie is now leading one of the most exciting initiatives that emerged over the last years: she will be sharing her vision of cities of learning, in the learning city of Bologna! "Thanks to our 12 LRNG Cities and a growing list of local and national partners and supporters, thousands of young people across the country are connecting to engaging and exciting learning and workforce development opportunities in their communities and online.As we build out our learning ecosystem, it is wonderful to witness how enthusiastically mayors, educators, organizations and corporations have embraced and enhanced the LRNG vision for redesigning learning for the connected age" wrote Connie in the LRNG blog.

David Leaser, Senior Program Manager, Innovation and Growth Initiatives, IBM, USA

David Leaser is senior program manager of innovation and growth initiatives for the Global Skills Initiative program at IBM. Meeting David is a unique opportunity to understand what is really behind at the impressive results Open Badges brought to IBM training and education programmes. A comprehensive story about IBM's Open Badge Program has recently been published by Training Industry Magazine.  

Peter Janzow, Pearson Acclaim, USA

Peter Janzow is Sr. Director of Business Development in support of Acclaim, an enterprise class badging platform backed by Pearson. “While transcripts and diplomas are long-standing, trusted validations of student achievement, digital badges provide employers with more detailed, transparent aggregations of a student’s earned skills,” declared Peter Janzow in the Acclaim's blog.

Link to the speakers' biographies.


#OpenEpic Twitter Chat with David Leaser, September 12

Every two weeks on  ​Monday 9am Pacific Time (6pm CET) ePIC 2016 organises a 60 minutes Twitter chat to with experts to discuss questions that will be explored during the conference. Monday September 12, we have the pleasure to welcome David Leaser, Senior Program Manager, Innovation and Growth Initiatives, IBM, USA.

One easy way to participate is to join us at http://www.tchat.io/rooms/openepic — once tchat.io is connected to your Twitter account, you can easily keep up with fast-paced discussions as it updates and refreshes in real time.



The Bologna Open Recognition Declaration
Toward an Open Architecture for the Recognition of Learning Achievements

In 1999, the Bologna Declaration proposed a European Higher Education Area in which students and graduates could move freely between countries, using prior qualifications in one country as acceptable entry requirements for further study in another. This launched the Bologna qualification reform process, which has now been adopted by 50 countries.

In 2008, a broad coalition of educators, foundations, and Internet pioneers launched the Cape Town Open Education Declaration, urging governments and publishers to make educational materials available freely over the internet. Before and since then, an open educational resources movement has been growing significantly, featuring initiatives such as the annual Open Education Conference in the US, the international OERu, the Paris OER Declaration by UNESCO in 2012 and, of course, Creative Commons, with us since 2003.

Now, in 2016, a new coalition of learning stakeholders is issuing the Bologna Open Recognition Declaration: a call for a universal open architecture for the recognition of lifelong and lifewide learning achievements.

A draft version of the Declaration is currently under review by the ePIC participants and the members of the advisory committee. Mid-September, a first version of the declaration shall be published for public review.

Stay tuned! More details to follow in the next updates.

Hack Open Badges at ePIC!

If you believe that one could do much more with Open Badges that simply display them on Facebook or LinkedIn, join at ePIC the design team of the Open Badge ecosystem of the future!

Hack Open Badges (#HackBadges) aims at reinventing the Open Badge ecosystem, in particular imagining how the information contained in Open Badges could be used to create innovative services to badge earners and consumers within and beyond education.

During the first session of "Hack Open Badges" you will have the opportunity to present your project ideas, then the participants will have 10 votes (stickers) they will place on their favourite projects. The projects with the most votes will be selected and teams will be organised to design the different projects.

Participants are free to move from one project to the next and project leaders also have the opportunity to merge/coordinate their projects. The results of "Hack Open Badges" will be largely publicised within and beyond the Open Badge community.

The event starts Wednesday October 26th and continues during the conference for a final presentation Friday 28th.

To submit your project idea, use this Google form: link


Open Badge news

Open Badge Passport

One of the laureates of the DML Trust Challenge, launched at ePIC 2015, the team building the Open Badge Passport is proud to announce that we have achieved significant progress.

The migration from the "proof of concept" platform (based on Drupal) to the Open Badge Passport Community Edition (Salava) has been achieved successfully. The 10,000+ users now have the pleasure to enjoy a powerful tool that will support the aggregation of many services, starting with social networking features.

Look for the September 27 announcements and​ join the developers of the Open Badge Passport at ePIC to learn more about what is now possible and the future developments.

Open Badges: the Experience of Italian Universities

How can we open up formal education (and recognition) and have it contaminate with non formal and informal?

Can Open Badges act as common vocabulary to express competencies and free them from the context where they are developed? Can the endorsement system transform Open Badges in trust nodes, where the trust connections between learners, institutions and companies become visible? Can learning achievements expressed through Open Badges help learners show the proper value of their learning paths to employers? Will it be useful for universities to use Open Badges to highlight some specific competencies developed through their study courses and collateral activities? What virtuous mechanism will we be able to activate if we connect formal and non formal through Open Badges? Can Open Badges help in recognising formal credit value to non-formal learning experiences? Can the digital representation of competencies through Open Badges help in digitizing the recognition process? Can it ease the conversation among institutions? And among learners institution and employers? 

Cineca - the main italian university consortium - is experimenting all these possibilities through its Open Badge based platform Bestr, and will talk about it at ePIC.


CanCred Passport - free cloud storage of Open Badges in Canada

CanCred Passport offers the same powerful tools as the newly rebuilt Open Badge Passport, but from Canadian servers that respect Canada's privacy laws.

Open Badges issued from CanCred Factory or other Open Badge issuing platforms can be stored on CanCred Passport for free by end users. Stored badges can be shared easily on social media such as LinkedIn. They can also be published in customized Passport Pages as mini-eportfolios, along with other evidence. Find out more at CanCred.ca and at ePIC in Bologna.

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